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Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey

by Aaron Smith


Aaron has a rare gift for storytelling and is one of the most brilliant bestsellers- in- waiting out there today.’ 

Tahir Shah (bestselling UK travel author)

‘The narrative of this spiritual quest/drug-fuelled odyssey is striking and even lyrical, and the tension builds rapidly to a haunting end.’

Ravi Shenoy, Library Journal

‘Smith's tale is part travelogue, part psychedelic journey, part coming-of-age, and strangely engrossing.’

 —Publishers Weekly

"Visceral! It's quite a trip."

Richard Aedy, 'Life Matters' Radio National ABC

"Smith is every inch the grizzled travel reporter of yesteryear. ...It's refreshing to be reminded such journalist writers still exist."

Chris Flynn, author of A Tiger's Eden and contributor to The Paris Review and McSweeny's.

Fleeing his shady Australian past, Aaron Smith travels to India and encounters a murder mystery, witnesses the tragic death of a friend, dodges terrorist attacks and a revolution as well as meets a colourful cast of fellow characters fit for a Bollywood flick. More than just a funny and warm ‘coming of (middle) age’ travel adventure Shanti Bloody Shanti allows the reader to sink into the paradox and beauty of India without drowning in sentiment. It’s a bit like Sarah Macdonald’s Holy Cow but more dramatic or Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram but laugh out loud funny.

Shanti Bloody Shanti was first published 2011 by Transit Lounge in Australia and New Zealand and has since been republished by Roaring Forties in the US and UK.

Chasing El Dorado, a South American Adventure

By Aaron Smith (available Australia & NZ,OCT 2014)

(Non Fiction)

This South American travelogue is the sequel to Shanti Bloody Shanti, an Indian Odyssey. It's a love story and an existential road trip

It’s a cross between Carlos Castinata, Don Quixote and Gonzo Journalism.

This story covers the author's time living at large in Latin America from 2006 until 2009. Travelling from Rio de Janeiro to the USA by bus, boat and donkey over the Andes, through the Amazon and across deserts, Aaron Smith dissects both urban and indigenous cultures and provides a pull-no-punches critique of the contemporary Americas. He lives in the slums, undergoes initiation ceremonies with Amazonian Indians, and falls in love. 

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